Another day, another apparent flip-flop from President Trump.
After insisting that any spending bill to keep the federal government open include more than $1 billion for his proposed border wall, Trump backed away, putting a halt to the stalemate many expected to occur between the White House and Congress.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway assured media that the $1.4 billion downpayment needed for the border wall was a priority, just not now.
“Not this week. Building that wall and having it funded remains an important priority to him. We also know that that can happen later this year and into next year,” Conway told Fox News.
Trump tweeted Tuesday that his changed position wasn’t a change at all, but that ignores the fact that he demanded something that now won’t be in the spending bill.
Don’t let the fake media tell you that I have changed my position on the WALL. It will get built and help stop drugs, human trafficking etc.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2017
Though a White House official told a CNN reporter that the money for the wall would indeed be included in the spending bill, there is doubt since Congress clearly cannot agree and a government shutdown would be a massive political problem for Republicans. They control both chambers of Congress and the White House, so there would be no way to blame Democrats. A government shutdown would be politically disastrous for Republicans and advantageous for their opponents, but a shutdown over a border wall proposal would would be an even worse look for the party.
Whether President Trump gets his way remains to be seen, however it is worth noting that this is the second time he has failed to get one of his proposed bills past the majority Republican Congress. The first time, telling Speaker Paul Ryan to pull the healthcare bill before it even came to a vote.